Curriculum Guide · Courses
Congressional Procedure and Statutory Interpretation Seminar (formerly Congressional Procedure and Legislative History Seminar)
Professor Victoria Nourse
J.D. Seminar 1121 | 3 credit hours
Statutory interpretation is the lifeblood of legal practice—it even accounts for the largest part of the Supreme Court’s docket. To be an expert in statutory interpretation requires more intensive knowledge of how Congress works—its “rules of proceedings.” This seminar has two aims: first, to educate students about congressional procedure (akin to civil procedure or administrative procedure); to teach students how to apply this knowledge to real statutory interpretation cases; and to become expert in reading legislative history. This is a hands-on course requiring in-class use of the laptop and various databases to “find” and interpret legislative history. In this course, students will learn how to research legislative history in ways that make the process easier, more rigorous, and more consistent with Congress’s own rules. Students will apply this process in a final research project involving a recent or currently pending statutory interpretation case. This class meets the J.D. upperclass legal writing requirement.
Students may not receive credit for this course and Legislative Process Seminar.